1869 Mahatma Gandhi [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi], born in British India

October 2, 2021

1869 Mahatma Gandhi [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi], born in British India

Today, Gandhi is a celebrated hero, not just in India but the world over. His birthday, October 2, is the world’s International Day of Non-violence. In India, the day is a national holiday.

His Philosophies

Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence philosophy can be traced back to his childhood, particularly to his deeply religious mother, who was a devoted Vishnu worshiper. Worshipers of the Hindu god were deeply influenced by Jainism, a religious group governed by doctrines of non-violence and self-discipline.

Gandhi As An Activist

Gandhi’s activism began in South Africa, where he was hired as a lawyer. Under the rule of the British and the Dutch, he, like other people of color, experienced constant discrimination. This prompted him to begin his campaign for civil rights through nonviolent resistance and satyagraha (firmness in truth). ‘Mahatma’ was an honorific Sanskrit name that translates to ‘venerable’ and was appended to his name during protests in South Africa.

In one instance, Gandhi led a campaign resisting the registration of the Indian population in South Africa that lasted for eight years. Towards its end in 1913, hundreds of Indians ended up in jail, with thousands of immigrant miners being flogged, imprisoned, or shot. The South African government finally yielded to pressure from the Indian and British governments in negotiations led by Gandhi and General Jan Christian Smuts.

He returned to his home country in 1914, where he inspired millions of his countrymen to resist unjust colonial measures with no violence. Gandhi’s campaigns were centered on India’s economic independence. For instance, he advocated for the manufacturing of hand-spun clothes known as khaddar that would replace imported textiles.

9 Comments

  1. Steve

    Gandhi’s non-violence protest method was brilliant and ultimately practical. If only other movements had adapted the same strategy.

    Reply
  2. Karolyn

    Did he write Hitler or not?

    Reply
  3. david mcallister

    Question: Where is TRUTHFUL ANS. to Q…Did M. Ghandi really write a letter to Fascist-Dictator-Murderer Adolph Hitler? Why resort to deception/prankishness to exhort viewers?

    Ans. Your solicitation of Advertisements. Shame, shamey!

    Reply
  4. temp

    Gandhi, one of the greatest persons- in my opinion. Extremely easy to solve a problem using violence but it takes guts to solve problems using non-violence, compromise and sacrifice.
    If todays leaders do the same, world would be much happier.

    Reply
  5. Jim

    Why do you rarely answer the question you pose in these daily Today in History messages?

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    So did Gandhi write to hitler or not?

    Reply
  7. Tired of Idiots

    Besides the fact that Gandhi was a pagan, he was also a socialist and communist at heart although he had the flawed idea that one could be a communist and not be violent. His non-violent approach to eliminating British colonialism fails to give credit to the many advantages that colonialism provided to India. Bringing order out of chaos such as putting an end to tribal warfare, and evangelizing the idolatrous population are just two benefits to colonization. Socialists and communists believe that man is basically good and the pathway to Utopia is to have an overseer to assure that the people follow their directives. They believe the means is justified by the end. They have an antinomian philosophy which rejects God of the Bible as the final authority on His creation.

    Reply
  8. Walter Edwards

    The article says nothing about Gandhi writing to Hitler. Why would you pose the question, then decline to address it? Click bait?

    Reply
  9. Nissim Moses- Historian Indian Jewish Heritage & Bene Israel Genealogy Research

    Yes Gandhi Did Write a Letter to Hitler addressing him as My Dear Friend Hitler. Not only him but even Subash Chandra Bose The other India Nationalist Leader went and met Hitler.
    Further Gandhi Even told the Jews after the Holocaust, that Palestine now belonged to the Arabs and the Jews should go back to the countries where they were born & be good citizen there-This was even after the United Nation had voted to Create a Jewish State. He Further Prevented Nehru from recognizing Israel. It was only the Government after the Fall of Indira Gandhi from Power and the wisdom of The Prime Minister after her that India and Israel established diplomatic relations and he Wisdom of The Rt. Hon Narendra Modi to Strengthen these ties in all fields.

    Reply

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